How being pro-life changed my homeschool

We were newly engaged, Jeff invited me to a dinner he was attending. He didn’t indicate what it was about, but I knew it was a dinner “meeting.” The dinner was okay. (We’re talking frozen Banquet chicken, folks, not stellar – but when you’re in college WHO CARES?!!) 😉 When it was over, the speaker stood up and said, “Thank you for coming to our introductory discussion on entering the pastorate.”

“WHAT?!!!!! This man that I am engaged to – this man who knows my mouth well – has brought me to a meeting on entering the pastorate?! WHAT WAS HE THINKING? Lord, this is ME sitting at this meeting. WRONG DAWN, LORD. You and I both know I will NEVER make it as a pastor’s wife. You need to check social security numbers, cause this is NOT the Dawn You meant to send to this meeting.” I remember those words well. (God has a sense of humor is all I will say.)

Throughout the evening, people came up to Jeff, shook his hand and told him, “I can’t wait to see you go into the ministry. You will make a wonderful pastor.” As the night wore on I kept reminding God, “You got the WRONG DAWN, Lord, I know I’m not supposed to be here.” Then something happened – funny, I don’t even remember what it was now, because the response of my heart was SO overwhelming that the cause of the effect has slipped from memory (NOT ONE WORD ABOUT OLD AGE! You know who you are…) – and suddenly I KNEW I was indeed supposed to be there. With every fiber in my being I knew it. I knew that the Lord had not brought the wrong Dawn. (I just wished He had – I was not open to being a pastor’s wife.)

I wasn’t the “wrong Dawn” – no other Dawn was wired for what He was intending to do. For, you see, it was at that moment that the Lord began to work into my heart a new and fresh wonder at the beauty and majesty of life – of the uniqueness of each created being. It didn’t happen quickly. It wasn’t that I saw each person I knew as a fluke. I honestly, just didn’t think about the awesomeness of God choosing ONE sp@rm (sorry all spam filters!) – and a SPECIFIC one at that – and ONE singular egg and create that one specific person. In fact, I had 5 unique, specific, singular people that I had given birth to before it HIT me. I knew it before then, but the Lord began a new work in me right after baby #5 that was SO powerful, that I knew it was going to affect me for the rest of my days.

You see, if I really believe that….if I TRULY believe that each of my children are fully, uniquely, divinely put together by God, then really, I can no longer teach them in the same way. No matter how much I tried to ignore that, I still had to acknowledge in my heart of hearts that they were all different. It took another….well, baby #5 will be 9 tomorrow and I feel like I’ve finally gotten a pretty good grasp on this in the last 18 mo to a year.

Now, don’t let that put you off. I had a few other things of life going on in the midst of that, (little things – like the death of my Mother due to cancer, the complete crushing of and rebuilding of how we train our children, a life threatening miscarriage and infection and the total break down and restoration of my marriage – you know, little things like that.) AND, I’m a bit more bull headed than most, so don’t worry that all your kids will be grown and have grandchildren, as it’s likely it won’t take you as long. 🙂

So, now our homeschool is different – different from anyone else’s I know. And that’s okay, because no one else has these Crazy Clarks to raise. You see, as we acknowledged that our children were totally unique, we then had to acknowledge that we too were totally unique, divinely gifted, by God, for specific and individual tasks to be completed in the Kingdom.

So, God has placed SPECIFIC children into SPECIFIC homes for SPECIFIC parents to train them. My goofy Clarks aren’t in your quiet home (you wouldn’t have a quiet home if they were) and there is a reason for that. WE – Jeff and I – have things that the Lord wants them taught while they are in our home. Just like there are things that occur uniquely in your homes that the Lord wants your children taught. If this is true, that would mean that I have gifts that I need to bring out and employ – for the purpose of training my children.

Let me put feet to it. My dear neighbor is just the most giving and talented crocheter that I know. I can’t even begin to put a price tag on the gifts that she has blessed my daughters with. A few months ago, she started teaching one of my daughters to cross stitch. My daughter was giddy. She had never seen cross stitch, except at Grandma’s house and she could hardly wait. She left the room and I sat there, gobsmacked! You see, before children, I cross stitched. I created my own designs and I sold the finished products even. And sitting in my closet, were a set of boxes that held every color of DMC floss that was available at the time that I stopped cross stitching. Yet, my daughter had never seen me cross stitch even one time.

All those years I had denied myself the pleasure of cross stitching, only to see that I had a child in my house that was needing me to teach her. The Holy Spirit gently (oh so gently, and lovingly) chastised me that I had taken a gift, from the Most High and I had determined that this was not the season it was to be employed. It may be that it was the season to lay it aside, but in my case, it was the decision I made – for you see “Godly women lay aside the creative parts of themselves in order to raise children.” And as quickly as the thought went through my heart, it was followed by, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” I had never asked. I didn’t even know what the “obey” side of the equation was.

I do not share any of this to guilt you into anything you should or should not be doing, for you see, THAT in itself is the point. It is God’s to choose what should be in your days, not my choice…really, not even your choice. He may have many richer, better things intended for you, than you will allow yourself to enjoy. That is for the Holy Spirit to quicken in your heart, not for me, whatsoever! I am sharing this with you, so when I explain what our homeschool day looks like, you will understand why. Because our day is so different, if you don’t understand the why, you won’t understand the how.

Oh – and my cross stitch? It’s still in my closet. Number one, it’s at the back and the baby’s dresser is now in front of it and I can’t get to it. But, more importantly, number two: relationship. Mrs Gene has a great need for the sunny-bunny disposition of my daughter coming over for her regular cross stitch sessions. Were I to get mine out, I would distract my daughter’s focus from being with Mrs Gene for those hours. It is a sacrifice I will gladly make – for this season.  🙂

(Whimsy asked me to share how “relationship first” plays out in our homeschooling – this is part one of that answer. In part 2, I’ll make it bit more “pratical.”)

7 Responses to “How being pro-life changed my homeschool”
  1. whimsy says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

    this is what I need to hear about.

    I took my eyes off the prize. The reason we decided to homeschool in the first place is because our kids are SO different, (even the twin) that there is no way a preset curriculum would work for them. Much less trying to make them do it just like other kids.

    All it took was a few questions from my MIL (who means well) that maybe I was cheating them out of something. Maybe I wasn’t doing a good job. Maybe they would be hindered. We have not yet broke the news to the family that we will not be sending them to college unless the Lord specifically says that’s where He wants them. We’d prefer to spend that money on starting a business for each of them – but I digress.
    I broke down and bought a nice packaged curriculum that I knew covered all the bases and needed very little involvement from me.
    But I knew it wasn’t right. Now I have to figure out how to get back to what we had…..

  2. So I can’t just pick the one I like the best, huh? Well, that’s probably for the best since it would take me a long time to decide. There’s so much stuff out there, so many different “ways” to homeschool, that it can be really overwhelming. But how to get in some alone time with Father so I can listen for His direction? Does anyone else find it hard to listen to that still, small voice when all around are small, not so still, people with very LOUD voices? There’s a good hands and feet kind of question for you, shug. Do you look them in a padded room while you pray? Set up security cameras so you can see what they’re up to? Do I need to wait until they’re all perfectly trained before I find alone time to pray? ALL ideas welcome!

  3. javadawn says:

    Hmmm – wait until they’re perfectly trained? And when that arrives, are you wondering if I’d need to wait until I, too am then perfectly trained? 😉 It won’t EVAH happen, my dear.

    Shannon, I’m going to be totally honest here. I ask God to keep my kids asleep. I have since they were little. First of all, once they stop nursing, Jeff and I pray over them to sleep well through the night.

    When they got older, I would pray DAILY that they would all take a nap together and then I’d pray that the Lord would bless my time alone with Him. I have a friend who would tell me she had tried calling, but my phone was always busy. She’d say, “I always tried to wait until your kids would be napping, so I knew you could talk.” 😀

    Now – yesterday is the PERFECT example. Squish started fussing, I NEEDED more time with Father, I said, “Lord, I need more of You. Please, bless that baby with sleep, so I can remain here with You for just a while longer.” And she fussed for maybe 2 min – not a lot, just snorking around, then she went back to sleep for another 45 min or so.

    Furthermore, as soon as they were 3, they knew the rules. Mommy was awful without her prayer time with God, so they were allowed to read in their room (or on the rare exception play quietly at my feet) without interrupting me. (And they would tell people that, btw “My mom is awful if she doesn’t get her God time” or if I was crabby, “Mommy, did you get time with God today?”

    If they came up to speak to me, I’d tell them, “I’m talking to God right now, do you have an emergency?” They would say yes, usually, and then I’d listen to them and explain that they did not have an emergency and they either needed to play quietly or go lie down with a book. There were no exceptions. Wellllll….

    As my 6th daughter got older, the rules changed a little. The kids were then REQUIRED to remain in their room, until I called them in the morning. Her mouth is solar powered….and it’s the most effective solar generator I’ve ever seen – she is still running off power she gathered at age 2, I think. She asked me this week if she could have a full hour, in bed, to talk to herself, at bedtime, since she has so many words that need to be spoken. She caused me to change the rules. 😆

    Shannon, I’m not kidding you, without time with the Lord, I’m a wreak. Time with Father is NOT optional. N.O.T. O.P.T.I.O.N.A.L. If I can’t make it work, I take it to Him. He has worked miraculous things on my behalf to afford me that time. He doesn’t play favorites – ask Him, I know He’ll do that for you too!!!

    Remember, when I started praying this way, that’s when the Lord started blessing all my children with late morning sleeping time – and I was getting 4 – 6 hrs a day in prayer and Bible study. Did I mention I was a WREAK? I must have been bad for Him to give me that much time with Him, eh?! 😀

  4. Mrs. Nehemiah says:

    DoH! I knew I was forgetting something, I’ve been frustrated with my morning prayer time because it’s like my kids bio-rhythms are linked to mine (the youngest is 9, they’re not babies) I swear if I got up at 3:17 am they would be up by 3:20 at the latest. I can’t EVER count on 5 min without distractions, Unless I’m doing something that has little to do with talking to Father. but I have not because I ask not. thanks for reminding me Dawn

    Mrs N

  5. Holly says:

    Were you speaking of leaving??? Where did I miss that?

    Dawn, you are writing the EXACT things my husband said I should write this week (conceptually, I mean….the WHAT do we do’s, the WHY do we do them, the relationships…HOW to figure out what to do…(pray, pray and pray.) I’m so glad that you are writing, though…I’m too tired! 🙂 He read my post on “doing it all” and said, “That was good. Now you need to write x, y, z.” I asked him to write it – but he did not oblige me. 🙂

    It is just incredible to see the Lord laying the same things on several people’s hearts at the same time.

  6. Yeah – that “perfectly trained” comment of mine might have been a tad on the sarcastic side. I’m sure glad you didn’t say I had to wait THAT long! They’re actually needing some attention now, so this’ll be short. Back later!

  7. reneegrace says:

    OH Dawn, I must link to this… LOVE IT!!

    I have been the WORST at accepting and appreciating EXACTLY who my boy is… as he has gotten older he has gotten… quirkier 🙂 And then trying to TEACH him. Poor first child, I think God has special grace for them.

    Holly, you know God put this on everyone’s heart because its for me! its all for me. sorry girls. you may glean, but God did this all for me! 🙂 just kidding. (oh wait, it was Whimsy’s question!)

    Sadly, God must think I don’t need the extra sleep in the morning, because they don’t sleep for me. Maybe if I proved my discipline in getting up no matter if they did sleep, then He’d oblige with better sleep! hmmm 5:30am used to be Keenan’s wake up time… he’s better – 6:15 – 6:30 now!! I just can’t drag myself out of bed before 6:30 and be productive…

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